Could LeBron James really return to Cleveland as a Cavalier after all that has happened with Dan Gilbert and The Decision?
It seems ridiculous, but some people think it could be a possibility when his contract with the Miami Heat runs up. Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com is one who believes it could happen.
Yes, it’s the sequel to “The Decision,” and it’s coming faster than you think. James is widely expected to opt out of his contract after next season, if for no other reason than to sign another max contract.
And yes, believe it or not, he will give Cleveland a close look. He has a relationship with Irving and Thompson. His new agent, Rich Paul, is a local guy who has long been a close friend. Paul also represents Thompson. A number of pieces are aligning, but the biggest draw is missing.
The Cavs realistically must be a playoff team for James to consider them. He will turn 30 during the 2014-15 season. It’s inconceivable he would return to Cleveland for a rebuilding project. That means the Cavs will at least have to make the playoffs next season for them to be viable contenders in a free-agent market that will surely include the Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.
To be clear, I’m not holding my breath on this happening. The bridge may be burnt, and Cleveland not want to go back down that road.
But think about it. Dwyane Wade’s game could very well be seriously deteriorated in two more years as his athleticism continues to fall and injuries amount. The Heat have a flawed roster with no true center, and don’t really have the resources to go get one. If the next two years prove that “small ball” won’t get the job done in the future, why wouldn’t he leave?
The Cavaliers could have a roster that seems to be made for LeBron. In two years, a core of Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, and a few more years of high draft picks could be deadly with LeBron James as the anchor. It’s totally reasonable to believe that Irving will be a better player than Wade in a few years, and the Cavs could have a very deep roster of supporting players.
And you have to believe there’s still a part of LeBron James that wants to bring a championship to Cleveland. Just saying.
-Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content
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